MK-1775 Chemical Structure
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MK-1775 is a potent and selective inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase WEE1 (IC50 = 5.2 nM). It selectively targets and inhibits WEE1, a tyrosine kinase that phosphorylates cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDC2) to inactivate the CDC2/cyclin B complex. Inhibition of WEE1 activity prevents the phosphorylation of CDC2 and impairs the G2 DNA damage checkpoint. This may lead to apoptosis upon treatment with DNA damaging chemotherapeutic agents.
MK-1775(MK1775) is a small molecule inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase WEE1 with potential antineoplastic sensitizing activity. MK-1775 selectively targets and inhibits WEE1, a tyrosine kinase that phosphorylates cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDC2) to inactivate the CDC2/cyclin B complex. Inhibition of WEE1 activity prevents the phosphorylation of CDC2 and impairs the G2 DNA damage checkpoint. This may lead to apoptosis upon treatment with DNA damaging chemotherapeutic agents. Unlike normal cells, most p53-deficient or mutated human cancers lack the G1 checkpoint as p53 is the key regulator of the G1 checkpoint and these cells rely on the G2 checkpoint for DNA repair to damaged cells. Annulment of the G2 checkpoint may therefore make p53-deficient tumor cells more vulnerable to antineoplastic agents and enhance their cytotoxic effect.
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MK-1775, a small molecule Wee1 inhibitor, enhances anti-tumor efficacy of various DNA-damaging agents, including 5-fluorouracil.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2010 Apr 1;9(7):514-22. Epub 2010 Apr 1.
MK-1775 is a potent and selective small molecule Wee1 inhibitor. Previously we have shown that it abrogated DNA damaged checkpoints induced by gemcitabine, carboplatin, and cisplatin and enhanced the anti-tumor efficacy of these agents selectively in p53-deficient tumor cells. MK-1775 is currently in Phase I clinical trial in combination with these anti-cancer drugs. In this study, the effects of MK-1775 on 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and other DNA-damaging agents with different modes of action were determined. MK-1775 enhanced the cytotoxic effects of 5-FU in p53-deficient human colon cancer cells. MK-1775 inhibited CDC2 Y15 phosphorylation in cells, abrogated DNA damaged checkpoints induced by 5-FU treatment, and caused premature entry of mitosis determined by induction of Histone H3 phosphorylation. Enhancement by MK-1775 was specific for p53-deficient cells since this compound did not sensitize p53-wild type human colon cancer cells to 5-FU in vitro. In vivo, MK-1775 potentiated the anti-tumor efficacy of 5-FU or its prodrug, capecitabine, at tolerable doses. These enhancements were well correlated with inhibition of CDC2 phosphorylation and induction of Histone H3 phosphorylation in tumors. In addition, MK-1775 also potentiated the cytotoxic effects of pemetrexed, doxorubicin, camptothecin, and mitomycin C in vitro. These studies support the rationale for testing the combination of MK-1775 with various DNA-damaging agents in cancer patients.
MK1775, a Selective Wee1 Inhibitor, Shows Single-Agent Antitumor Activity against Sarcoma Cells
Wee1 is a critical component of the G2–M cell-cycle checkpoint control and mediates cell-cycle arrest by regulating the phosphorylation of CDC2. Inhibition of Wee1 by a selective small molecule inhibitor MK1775 can abrogate G2–M checkpoint, resulting in premature mitotic entry and cell death. MK1775 has recently been tested in preclinical and clinical studies of human carcinoma to enhance the cytotoxic effect of DNA-damaging agents. However, its role in mesenchymal tumors, especially as a single agent, has not been explored. Here, we studied the cytotoxic effect of MK1775 in various sarcoma cell lines and patient-derived tumor explants ex vivo. Our data show that MK1775 treatment at clinically relevant concentrations leads to unscheduled entry into mitosis and initiation of apoptotic cell death in all sarcomas tested. In MK1775-treated cells, CDC2 activity was enhanced, as determined by decreased inhibitory phosphorylation of tyrosine-15 residue and increased expression of phosphorylated histone H3, a marker of mitotic entry. The cytotoxic effect of Wee1 inhibition on sarcoma cells seems to be independent of p53 status as all sarcoma cell lines with different p53 mutation were highly sensitive to MK1775 treatment. Finally, in patient-derived sarcoma samples, we showed that MK1775 as a single agent causes significant apoptotic cell death, suggesting that Wee1 inhibition may represent a novel approach in the treatment of sarcomas. Mol Cancer Ther; 11(1); 174–82. ©2011 AACR.
MK-1775, a potent Wee1 inhibitor, synergizes with gemcitabine to achieve tumor regressions, selectively in p53-deficient pancreatic cancer
Clin Cancer Res. 2011 May 1;17(9):2799-806.
MK-1775 treatment led to the inhibition of Wee1 kinase and reduced inhibitory phosphorylation of its substrate Cdc2. MK-1775, when dosed with GEM, abrogated the checkpoint arrest to promote mitotic entry and facilitated tumor cell death as compared to control and GEM-treated tumors. MK-1775 monotherapy did not induce tumor regressions. However, the combination of GEM with MK-1775 produced robust antitumor activity and remarkably enhanced tumor regression response (4.01-fold) compared to GEM treatment in p53-deficient tumors. Tumor regrowth curves plotted after the drug treatment period suggest that the effect of the combination therapy is longer-lasting than that of GEM. None of the agents produced tumor regressions in p53 wild-type xenografts.
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